Eddie and Brenda McCaughey were married this fall. They registered at Target. On their list was a muffin tin, a fancy ice cube maker, and a sofa. Ms. McCaughey, 25, was worried about Antifa bashing up the ceremony. Weddings are hard enough to plan for when your fiancé is not an avowed white nationalist.
They sat shoulder-to-shoulder in an Applebee’s outside of Dayton and finished each other’s sentences. He was in a tee-shirt, and she was in a sleeveless jean jacket, and they were in love. They decided on the boneless chicken wings.
“Nigger dinner,” Eddie told this reporter, who did not follow up on that assertion and instead asked him about his tattoos. One was of a piece of pie, which symbolized his love for the cult television program Twin Peaks, and another was a swastika.
“Tell me about the pie tattoo,” this reporter said.
The rolling hills of Ohio flatten into lumpy brown plains covered with Steak & Shakes outside, but inside the Applebee’s is a young couple that could live next door to you. Some Americans might take umbrage to Eddie’s beliefs, statements, actions, and plans, but the Times decided to give him a chance to explain himself.
“I want every kike dead,” he explained himself.
Eddie’s face is lean and pale, with pointed eyebrows that make him look like Victor Mature. Everyone he comes across, he addresses as “Sir” or “Ma’am,” and he smells like sandalwood. He asked after this reporter’s family several times, about their health and careers and whether they were Filipino. He and Brenda have two cats in their small, tidy house named Hitler and Hitler; they came in and out as Eddie prepared dinner, prowling under the couch and over the improvised explosive device that sat half-finished on the living room chair.
“That’s for a mosque a couple miles away,” Eddie said, motioning to the IED. Then he showed off how well he played the drums. Brenda arrived home from her job as a kindergarten teacher, and Eddie leapt from behind the kit to welcome her. When they kissed, it was like everyone in the world was in love all at once.
“That smells wonderful, honey,” she said.
“The Holocaust didn’t happen, but I wish it did,” he answered.
The stars were coming out in the Ohio sky, and a copy of Behold A Pale Rider sat next to the DVD’s from season 3 of Seinfeld, and two crazy kids tried to make it in this world against long odds.